A Scampaversary

Today marks the one year anniversary of A Scamp Abroad. The first official public post is March 26th, but today marks the day when my mommy and I returned from the first trip here and I had settled my mind on moving here. I started this little treasure that night, but I have decided to keep the first few private. There are just some things that people do not need to read.

It’s been quite a year. I’ve had quite an adventure. Three papers and my dissertation stand between me and my degree. That’s it. I’m not really sure where the time went, but if all goes according to plan, I’ll be back in Orange County in  2 months. I already miss the friends I have made here. I know that the next few weeks are going to be very busy. I have loads of reading to do, and loads of work to prepare, but since I am still focused on problems at home, I have found that no real work is getting done. Luckily I find the topics interesting, so when I do find the motivation to work, I do not think it will be too difficult to get things done. In the last month I have developed some really bad habits where food and sleep are concerned, so I am going to try and break those too. I’ll also be practicing my crow pose.

In the meantime, I’ve finished (and for the most part survived) the cultural sensitivity class. While the last class was completely pointless, I am proud to say that I did not miss a single class. I have a lot to make up for since most of the time I tuned out what the lecturer  was actually saying, but my butt was in a seat every Wednesday. I really like the final assignment, and as much as I didn’t care for the lecturer, I feel that she will be a fair grader, so with a little effort and a lot of research, I feel that I will do well in the class. I submitted a feedback form suggesting that the class may be handled in a different manner next semester. Under the “advice for a student taking the class in the future” question, I simply said, choose another class.

I hope that wasn’t too bitchy….


A Scamp Keeps it Moving

This is one of my favorite songs. I have a deep love for A Tribe Called Quest, but I have an even deeper love for anything that spells my name out in a song.

Lately I have been trying to live the song, keep it movin’. What “it” is, I am not so sure, but I am just trying to put one foot in front of the other and make it through the day. The high from my birthday has worn off a bit, and I have found myself sliding back into my mopey ways. I have an assignment due Wednesday that is still not ready to go, and one due Friday that still needs editing. The only thing I managed to do today was my laundry and watch Big Bang Theory. The snow and wind didn’t help, but I have lost my motivation again. After the wonderful dinner I had tonight, my only urge is to curl up in bed with some chocolate and the psychological thriller I checked out from the library.

On the upside, Wednesday is the last day of the cultural sensitivity class. After Wednesday, I will never have to worry about hearing how awful I am because I am American, or because I am Jewish, never have to try and keep myself awake at 9 am, and never have to read anther article written by the professor.

hmmmm…..suddenly I am feeling a lot better about the week.

A Scamp and Her Mom

Today is Mother’s Sunday in Scotland, and that is as good a reason as any to dedicate a post to my mommy. She is definitely my favorite person, and I am very lucky to have as good a relationship with her as I do.

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One of the things that I like most about my mom is that her smile has been the same since she was a kid. This is her with my grandma. If you look at pictures of my mom know, you can see a lot of my grandma in her.


My mom has always been a hottie. I don’t know how she managed to do it, but she skipped over the awkward phase that many of us had (and in my case, are still having).



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My mother is really the only person that understands me. We laugh at things that other people don’t understand, we do ridiculous things that no one wants to do, and we basically have fun with whatever comes our way.


A year ago she took four days off, bought two plane tickets, and brought me to Scotland so that I could take a campus tour of the college I applied to on a whim. After she tried to talk to me about the practical side of things, like where I was going to get the money? Where was I going to live? What was I going to do about my job and my apartment in San Diego? she decided to embrace my need for an adventure. She cosigned my loan. is storing my stuff, and always makes sure that I have enough cash in my account to feed myself when dorm food becomes too much for me to handle.



She lost her mom almost 20 years ago. Because of that, she has worked really hard to keep us all together as a family. She lets us bitch and moan to her about our problems, offers us advice, corrects our homework, and supports us with a fierce loyalty that most people wish they had.

She is my best friend, my favorite person, and all around just plain awesome.


The Start of the Scamp’s 26th Year

The best thing about my birthday this year was being reminded of how many truly amazing people there are in my life. From start to finish it was one of the best days that I have had in Scotland. The day started with cards and packages from home. My friends Ben and Maggie sent me a cat card that had me giggling, and my mom sent me a box of all my favorite candies and snacks. This year Kelly and I sent each other the same present (cuddly sheep) and the dancing hamster card she sent me is something I am going to show everyone.

My favorite Texan started my day here by treating me to real Mexican food and cake. The food was amazing. My tummy was very happy, and I was touched that she would take time to make sure my day started off on the right foot. My trainstationist made me a penguin card, found the largest piece of chocolate in Scotland, and the best sheep key chain ever, and happily presented them to me upon my return. She also ran interference when creepy dude at the pub tried to slip me his digits.

In the early afternoon I was able to talk to my mommy. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to see Kelly, but being able to see my parents was worth it. I will get to see them officially in a month, but this was a good spot in the day. I was also able to connect with a lot of my friends and family at home. One of the best gifts was a text, and lot of understanding from one of my best friends. I was cruel to her, but she was by far the bigger person by reaching out to me. I was able to talk to David, but because I am a fucktard, it was not one of the bright spots of my day. He bought me a beautiful dress for Valentine’s Day and my birthday, and topped it off with the perfect T-Rex necklace.

Although I had dinner in the JMCC, I was able to share the meal with the wonderful people that live on my floor. One of them gave me a very sweet card, and I was showered with hugs and laughter.I then set off to my favorite pub to celebrate the day with the girls from my program and the 5 people that I love spending my days with.

The pub was so much fun. It got off to a slow start,and I had a moment of panic thinking no one would come, but everyone from my program came (1 was there in spirit, and sent me a wonderful gift) and they showered me with amazing cards and gifts. I got really amazing chocolates, thoughtful and beautiful cards, cake, waffles, and a book of amazing poems, short stories and speeches. All of the girls signed a giant card for me, and you can bet that I am going to be keeping that for a very long time. Everyone hung out, traded laughs and stories, and kept me well supplied with Sailor Jerry and coke. Thursday nights are karaoke night at the pub, and I had so much fun singing along and cheering on the boys as they sang Men at Work, Journey, and a few other tunes. They even got the pub to sing me happy birthday, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I wore a new dress, gossip and laughed with my friends, and did my part by singing, cheering, and laughing to the songs performed throughout the night. I even managed to charm a guy enough for him to pass me his number. Luckily Cecile was there to inform him that I was not interested. I  maintain that it was the amazing dress that my mother sent me.

One of the best gifts I got this year was a book. It isn’t sold in stores yet, and the author is not well known, but it is one of my favorite books. At 85 pages, I can now see my pages in tangible form. I had a real emotional moment when I opened the package to see my blog in book form. People keep joking that I should turn this into a book, and I joke that I really only have 7 readers, but in truth, seeing my words in book form means a lot to me. This started out as a little journal to chronicle my life here, and lately it has become more than that. It has become my outlet for all the crazy thoughts that are in my head, and my help to sort out how to heal. The note written on the wrapping said:

Words are my daily bread, feed my soul, give me strength.

Truer words have never been spoken.Having others see value in my words, and think enough of me to present me with such a gift is amazing. I feel very loved, and very much the opposite of alone.

While the night would have been made perfect by spending it with Kelly, I know that this is a birthday that I will remember forever.

The Scamp’s Last Day of Her 25th Year

Tomorrow is my birthday. I’m turning 26. It is the first time that I have not been able to spend my birthday with my family, and while I am excited for the day that my friends have planned for me tomorrow, I am a little sad that I won’t be with Kelly. I have decided that I would like my last post of my 25th year to be a look at some of my favorite moments of the year.


My birth year started with a cake that looked like me. How many people can say that? It was delicious.



I got accepted into the University of Edinburgh and decided to move to Scotland and have an adventure. This was one of the easiest and hardest decisions that I have ever made. It also happens to be one of the best I made in my 25th year.



These girls. They took me out for my 25th birthday, filled me with beer and pizza and did not complain when I beat them at bowling. We had many amazing adventures, and many good conversations



This guy. Definitely one of my favorite parts of being 25. This is a picture taken on the night he told me he loved me for the first time. We’d had dinner with his family, and as I was leaving his house that night and he went off to study for the bar, he kissed me and told me he loved me before sending me on my way.


Going to Ireland. It was not only a place that I really wanted to visit, but it was a fun 10 days with my family. Plus, it produced this picture:



Getting to be a part of a wedding in a major way. Being the one to sign the marriage licence was so much fun and I can’t wait to see what their future brings them.



Meeting this guy:



Moving to Scotland and meeting these girls


and these ones….


and who could forget the boys?


I’ve learned a lot from the people here. I enjoy my classes because of them, I enjoy the dorm some days because of them, and I enjoy my time out and about in the city because of them. I know that I will be friends with them long after I return to California to settle down.

Being able to still feel connected to the bestie of 11 years. She is busy and has her own life to sort out, but she sent me a care package, she answers all my texts, and she came to greet me at Christmas when I came home.



This guy and his stories. He is one of my best friends and he lets me complain, bitch and moan about people, and lets me tell him how to live his life. He keeps me laughing and reminds me that there is nothing in life a few drugs can’t cure.



I got to live in the snow. While this is not something I really want to do again, I had fun for the few days I was here in it.



and of course, the best way to end 25…..knowing that no matter what, I have these people to go home to. They keep me laughing, understand my weirdness and do not hesitate to tell me to cut it out when I go bat shit crazy. For that, I know that I am the luckiest girl ever and that despite some of the hiccups lately, 25 was a good year, and 26 will be even better.



There are so many other things that I could mention, so many other good days and fun adventure, but these are the ones that I have been thinking about the most as I get ready to  end the day.

A Scamp and Bagels

I do a lot of complaining about the food that the dinning hall serves. It has steadily been getting worse, and I was afraid that I was going to have to suffer for the next 12 weeks.

I thought wrong.

Yesterday the dining hall announced that they will now be serving bagels during breakfast. Bagels and cream cheese are two of the foods that I miss the most. I usually skip breakfast, but now that I know there will be bagels, I will certainly drag myself out of bed. It will be a nice change to the bowl of cereal and occasional crunchy pancakes. I will definitely be sneaking some out for  my mid day snacks too.

If I could get them to serve them at dinner along with the fruit and yogurt, I’d be a happy happy girl.

It’s the simple things in life, right?

A Scamp and Quesadillas

It never occurred to me how much I would miss a simple comfort food. Cheese and tortillas. I was lucky enough to get to have a quesadilla last night with real salsa and sour cream. While it is not the cure all for my moods and all the pain I’m carrying around, it was a nice comfort that reminded me of being home with my mama. It was the first time in almost a week that I actually ate something.For a few hours I ate food that tasted good, played silly games, and had a good time with my friends.

It’s not everything, but it’s a start.

One that I am extremely grateful for.

A Scamp and Her Favorite Holiday

After the tough day yesterday, and let’s face it, a tough few weeks, March is finally upon us. I love this month for many reasons. March marks the end of winter, the end to the cold (well, maybe not here in Scotland, but certainly in California), it marks another year of my life completed, and for this March, it marks the end of the term here and the start of my self guided research. It means I am one step closer to being able to return to California and settle into the next phase of my life.

There is another reason to love this month, and that is Dr. Seuss. He was born on March 2nd, and every year in the States this day (or the closest school day to it) is Read Across American Day. Classrooms stop teaching for a few hours and students simply get to enjoy reading. At the school where my mom works she has members of the community, local celebrities and her children come to school and read their favorite children’s book to a class. This year I got to read my book over Skype. I thought the little future scholars would be more excited, but I think I enjoyed it more than they did. I read them one of my favorite versions of the three little pig.

I’m hoping the fun I had with that, along with the Dr. Seuss books I checked out to read later will distract me a little.

The one bright spot in all of this was I got an interview for the EdD program at Cal State Fullerton. I got into the program at the same time I got in here, and they were nice enough to let me defer for a year, but it is nice to know that they still think I am a valuable candidate. I am still very much excited about the work I have been doing for the last two years that will serve as my dissertation, and if nothing else, it gives me the validation that I seem to really crave right now that I matter. I have this problem of equating education with intelligence. When I first applied to the program here, and to the one at CSUF it was because I wanted people to recognize my intelligence. I am, if nothing else, a good student. Being a student has defined my identity since I was 5 years old. I’m not sure what to be if I am not in school. In the last few weeks I thought that I would apply for jobs in San Diego and go there once I was home. I thought that was what I wanted and what would make me happy. Now I think I owe it to myself to finish school and stay on the course that I had originally set for myself when I moved here. I don’t know if I will end up going to CSUF, or if I will get a job in San Diego. Right now, the only thing I am trying to focus on is putting one foot in front of the other and taking it one day at a time.

A Scamp and the Future

I wish I was a fortune teller. I wish I had a shiny crystal ball that I could look into that would tell me everything will be alright. I have a picture of the future in my head. I know what I want it to look like, I know what I want to be in it. A few months ago, I was sure that picture was becoming a reality. A few months ago, I had it all figured out. This week my hopes for the future fell apart. This week my crystal ball broke and now everything is dark and murky.

I am now about to be more honest than I ever have on here. I’m not doing it because I want attention, I am doing it because I think it is time that I let people in and ask for help.

For the last few months I have been sliding into a deep depression. I’m in a dark and twisty place. Very dark. I’m sure that my seven readers have noticed how negative these posts have gotten, and the people around me have realized how moody and hostile I have become. I’m stressed about finding a job, stressed about losing the man I want to spend the rest of my life with, stressed about my loans and my mother’s health. I’ve been racked with guilt about how selfish I was for coming on this adventure, for being so far from my mom in case something really bad happens, and for asking my better half to wait for me for a year. I’ve slowly been spiraling in thoughts of negativity and doom and gloom, and no matter how often I am reminded that I am not alone, I started to get resentful of those who love and care about me the most. I have prided myself on being strong and independent, for being able to take care of myself and any problem that life throws at me. I know now, after repeated failures that that just isn’t true.

This week I lost the one person I care about most in the world. I lost my heart. The problem is, I was so stuck in my depression that I didn’t see how much I had destroyed him. I am trying my best to respect his wishes, but it is killing me that he is not a part of my day and I can no longer share my life with him. It kills him that I won’t have his shoulder to cry on, or his texts and emails telling me things will get better and I am almost home. I have so many things that need to be said, but can’t say any of them. I want to work and rebuild toward our future, but as it stands, I don’t know if that can happen. Right now, that is all I want to happen. I hope he reads this, and if he does, I hope he knows that letting me into his life was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I hope that he doesn’t give up on me, and on us, even though I have given him no reason not to.

I have decided that I can no longer do this alone. I need help. I need someone to throw me a rope so I can climb out of the dark and twisty place.I no longer want to be defined by my depression. I consider myself to be the luckiest girl in the world though. I have family and friends that are doing their damnedest to help me. Some of them are doing it in the form of pulling away, to show me what that I need help before I ruin everything, and the rest of them are calling, texting, and chatting with me. They check up on me, keep my mind busy on happy thoughts, and make sure that I am not alone. The amount of support that I have gotten from the girls here is much more than I deserve, and for that I will be eternally grateful. The amount of love and support I have gotten from my friends and family at home is also much more than I deserve. Even though my mind is telling me that I ruined my future happiness and now have to be alone, I can see from all the concern that I am not alone.

What I ask now from my followers, friends and family is a little understanding and some patience. I’m not going to be fixed overnight. I know that I will still have some dark and twisty days, and I will still be snappy from time to time. I assume that it may take me the rest of my time here to figure out how to heal. I’m struggling, a lot, but your continued support, good thoughts and occasional cat videos/puppy pictures are much appreciated.